Former Music Teacher Sentenced to Prison
3/21/11 – Former Music Teacher Sentenced to Prison
The San Diego RCFL (SDRCFL) provided digital forensics expertise for an investigation involving a Southern California music teacher, Mark Lewis Kinney, 48, who was convicted on eight of 10 counts in his trial involving child molestation and pornography. On March 18, 2011, Kinney was sentenced to 15 years to life for his crimes – he is not eligible for parole until he serves this sentence.
In addition to the prison term, Kinney must register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life; pay restitution to both the San Diego Sheriff's Department, a participating agency in the SDRCFL, and a state victim's compensation program.
The case rattled parents in the San Diego region because Kinney had taught music students for years in and around the county. He was arrested in late 2009 for sexually assaulting three of his female students – all under the age of 14. Kinney remained free on bail and was teaching music to adults until early 2011.
The jury of 10 men and two women found Kinney guilty of five counts of performing lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14, one count of using a minor to perform an illegal act, and creating obscene material and possessing child pornography. Press reports stated that the counts regarding lewd acts were enhanced by allegations that multiple children had been victimized.
SDRCFL Examiner Angela Rozsa, assigned from the San Diego Police Department, a participating agency in the SDRCFL, conducted a digital forensics examination of Kinney's computer and testified about her findings at his trial. Press reports stated up to 200 images of child and pornographic images were located on the device. Kinney's attorney David Cohn said, "Someone who has some child pornography on their computer -- you just can't jump to the conclusion that they're a pedophile..." A jury ruled differently after hearing the evidence and expert testimony, including that of Examiner Rozsa, against Kinney. Moreover, the law states that child pornography is contraband – just having it in your possession is illegal – that includes storing, sending, or receiving these images.
To report someone suspected of having child pornography in his/her possession, contact your local police department, FBI office, or the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children's tip line, 1-800-THE-LOST.
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